David Bowie certainly knew what he was talking about when he penned the line: ‘Put on your red shoes and dance…’
Because as beleaguered ex-pat Brits Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina discover in Isabella May’s sunny third novel Costa del Churros, it really is possible to dance your troubles away.
Or, at least, in the case of the four friends, confidence on the dance floor translates into an ability to face head on the issues that are making their lives a misery.
And, boy, despite the happy faces they try and present to the world, all four women are seriously unhappy.
Belinda has fallen out of love with her feckless, no-good cash-strapped husband; Joan is homesick for the busy, comradely life she and her hubby shared back home; Laura wants to escape the clutches of her selfish, domineering mother; and downtrodden, lovelorn Georgina will soon be homeless after her landlady gives her notice to quit.
What the blurb says:
The rain in Spain doesn’t mainly fall on the plain…
Brits abroad Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina need more than the sweetness of churros with chocolate dipping sauce to save them from their unsavoury states of affairs.
Cue Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera, the town’s flamboyant flamenco teacher. But can she really be the answer to their prayers?
One thing’s for sure: the Costa del Sol will never be the same again.
In real life, they’d be a most unlikely group of friends. And, flamenco teacher Carmen is almost too wise and flamboyant to be credible.
But May writes with such humour and pace that even a picky reader like me is happy to suspend disbelief and wallow in the brilliance of her word pictures.
Here’s how she describes Julia, who never feels the cold. ‘Then again, by her own admission she had pork sausages for arms, plenty to keep her insulated.’
And, skinny, Botox-ed Belinda, who was a streetwise nine-year-old when she worked out that ‘success in the real world equalled size six to eight’.
Skilful, telling writing that allows reader to properly ‘see’ May’s characters.
As the nights begin to draw in, this is a cheery, life-affirming read that might not have you laughing out loud, but will certainly put a smile on your face.
Review by Sue Featherstone.
Available to buy here.
About the author:
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains.
When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.
As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
May recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’.
Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.